February 17, 2013

Dog Sprayed By Skunk (Part 2)

Ever seen a dog sprayed by a skunk? Not a pleasant thing to witness let me tell you. It is even less pleasant to smell of course. The odor from a skunks spray can last for weeks. The skunk produces its famous aroma from a pair of anal sent glands. When feeling threatened or frightened it ejects the foul odor in the direction of its aggressor. Contrary to popular belief, the skunk does not have an unlimited supply of the nasty spray, but only enough for four to five squirts. It will take a skunk nearly ten days to “reload”. Skunks are also not a particularly “trigger happy” lot either. They will only spray as a last resort. Still, what should you do if your dog gets sprayed by a skunk? There are plenty of “home remedies” out there to be found and most people who have dealt with the issue have a favorite method. Some of the common fixes you hear about are beer, tomato juice or paste, feminine hygiene products, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, vinegar, fresh rosemary, and toothpaste. Mythbusters even did an episode where they checked these various home remedies. Using their famous Confirmed, Plausible, or Busted scale to determine viability, their results found that:

  • Beer — busted. Still skunky and not like bad beer.
  • Tomato paste — plausible. Eau de skunk still snuck through the acidic sauce.
  • Feminine hygiene product — busted. Douche doesn’t double as a skunk scrub.
  • Commercial skunk-scent remover — plausible. Orangey with a hint of skunk.

Interestingly, the best solution they came up with was a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap which they ranked as confirmed; claiming that their test subject went from skunky stench to squeaky clean. They explain how the combination works stating that, “The oxygen molecules in the soapy solution neutralized the skunk scent by bonding to those terrible thiols. By altering that chemical makeup, this stink-fighting antidote made the smell quickly disappear.” Thiols are, of course, the main culprit in producing that classic “skunky smell”.

If you have a dog that has been sprayed by a skunk, then follow the following simple rules. First, make sure to treat the animal as quickly as possible. The longer the skunk’s spray rests on the dog’s fur, the harder it will be to get out. Never let it dry on the dog’s coat. Next make sure to not simply run water over the animal. This will only cause the stench to soak into the fur and skin. Instead mix up the following: 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1-2 teaspoons of liquid soap. Mix these ingredients into a bucket and begin to lather the mixture into your dog’s coat. Immediately rinse your pungent pooch. And begin the lathering process again. This time allow the mixture to sit for five minutes before attempting to rinse the dog. Use your nose to determine when to stop the process. Usually it doesn’t take too long, however larger breed and long haired breeds will take longer to de-skunk. So the next time you have a dog sprayed by a skunk you will know what to do.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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